Paul Bley

Paul Bley, CM (November 10, 1932 – January 3, 2016) was a Canadian jazz pianist known for his contributions to the free jazz movement of the 1960s as well as his innovations and influence on trio playing and his early live performance on the Moog and ARP synthesizers. His music has been described by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times as “deeply original and aesthetically aggressive”. Bley’s prolific output includes influential recordings from the 1950s through to his solo piano recordings of the 2000s.

Bley was born in Montreal, Quebec, on November 10, 1932. His adoptive parents were Betty Marcovitch, an immigrant from Romania, and Joseph Bley, owner of an embroidery factory, who named him Hyman Bley. However, in 1993 a relative from the New York branch of the Bley family walked into the Sweet Basil Jazz Club in New York City and informed Bley that his father was actually his biological parent.

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